Red carpet fashion, White Cliffs, Brandy and more!

Hi everyone!

I have been struck down. Down, I tell you! Laryngitis, chest infection, allergies to antibiotics of all things – you name it, last week (and the week before) I had it. Firstly, London Fashion Week was a write-off, then I missed out on a load of swanky parties, and THEN, worst of all, I had to cancel my appointment with my hairdressers (and trust me, that was a much needed appointment). Nevertheless I’m back and raring to tell you all about life after mucus, nasal sprays and a shedload of prescribed drugs.

Marie Claire
I attended Marie Claire’s 25th anniversary and WHAT a way to resurrect myself from my sickbed. We’ve both been around for a quarter of a century and, dare I say it, we’ve both endured quite well (although I don’t get airbrushed inside out every month). I styled my hair with a tight, high ponytail – it gave me a headache, but went so darn well with my AQ/AQ outfit. AQ/AQ is a British brand I’m rather fond of right now. Why? Because it has funky patterns, matching two pieces and, thanks to the transparent back detail, it gave me the perfect excuse to go braless. Naughty!

 

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I hung out with White Lies bassist Charles Cave and Made in Chelsea’s newbie, Ashley James. Drinks were drank, songs were sung and somehow the three of us managed to tumble into a photo booth to capture a moment of impromptu prosperity. What a way to celebrate  - Happy Birthday Marie Claire!

 

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Time Away
Hmmm, never party when you’re not fully recovered. Marie Claire completely and utterly broke me. When you’re ill sometimes it’s best to walk out of the party, drop the oyster card, leave the dishes, forget the hustle and bustle of London and escape to somewhere exotic. That’s why my boyfriend swept me off my feet and whisked me away to… the White Cliffs of Dover! OK, so it’s not Barbados but that’s where he’s from and for me that fresh gust of sea air is unbeatable. Besides, The White Cliffs, although scarily high (the health and safety inspector inside me says there needs to be a fence), are beautiful. If you want to avoid roaming charges when innocently plodding along the cliffs then here’s a useful tip: switch off mobile roaming as you can (and you will) pick up French phone networks. I wish I’d known that before I went!

 

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Going to Dover was actually like a short journey of adventure and discovery. I witnessed a caterpillar dodge death by foot (I almost stood on the cutie), I found local honey (which in fairness, wasn’t difficult as my boyfriend’s mum is a beekeeper), but my top Dover find was The White Cliffs Hotel, where I stopped by for Pimmsecco (Pimms with Prosecco? GENIUS!) and afternoon tea.

This spot had all the things the kid in me loves: a fancy dress box, a disco ball and a giant teepee in the garden. What’s not to love? If a giant teepee does not recharge your batteries, then you’re screwed.

 

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Brandy is back
And I’m not talking about the drink but THE Brandy, as in ‘Monica and Brandy’, Brandy! But, err, without Monica. I may be a little over excited about this but it’s only because I was such a huge fan growing up. Come to think of it, I still have her original CD singles – thank you Woolworths and your Bargain Bin (R.I.P)!

 

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Last week I was lucky enough to see Brandy headline the Musicalize event at the Indigo o2 Arena in London, and it was packed. In fact, I spent most of my evening uncomfortably sandwiched between the sweaty armpits of an over-enthusiastic fan. I quickly got used to the confinements of this damp spot and saw Brandy take to the stage in an embellished, leather, chainy playsuit (it was a busy outfit).

She sang the songs that helped her gain her iconic status: ‘I Wanna Be Down’,’ Sittin’ Up In My Room’, but (and this is a big but) only a tapas amount of ‘The Boy Is Mine’. I’m sorry, but that’s not fair. That’s my favourite Brandy hit! I’m not going to lie, my disappointment was plain to see (huffin and tutting… I’m not proud of it, but it happened) but, before I actually booed, I remembered the night was still young and I could go off with Sarah Jayne Crawford (of BBC Radio 1Xtra fam) and have a real Brandy… minus the armpit. What a consolation.

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Witness the fitness
The thought of sweating out all of my unhealthy bacteria by lifting weights and running on a treadmill to nowhere was daunting to say the least and, when I’m not feeling 100%, the gym is the last place I want to be. That’s why these past couple of weeks have been all about hot/bikram yoga. Great for all levels of fitness, this form of yoga is designed to help flush away toxins, tone, help weight loss and, you guessed it, it all takes place in a hot room!

Now I’m not going to lie, a hot room full of people sweating absolutely stinks but I pinky promise you soon get used to it. I personally struggle with it being a 90 minute session, as that’s a painfully long time for me to remain silent, but there are other things to focus on, such as, err, the yoga of course. It’s a series of 26 poses but I’m going to share with you my top 3.

 

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1. Standing separate leg stretch – it’s not the most graceful of poses with your head down and ass up but it stretches those thighs unbelievably well and your arms will be toned in no time. Be careful standing back up though. You’ll definitely have a head rush if you’re too hasty.

2. The wind removing position - it’s essentially squatting whilst lying down, you’re curled up in a ball on your back. This makes me giggle because, when done correctly, well… it’s like a human orchestra in there.

3. The ‘dead body pose’ i,e. lie down – people often consider this to be unimportant but no, Bikram says it’s essential. Rules are rules.

For now, it’s a namaste from me, back soon…

AJ
xxx

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